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Thank you to Professor Dame Sally Davies


After over nine years in role, Professor Dame Sally Davies has today stepped down as Chief Medical Officer for England to become the first female master at Cambridge University’s Trinity College.

In her time working with government she has had a massive impact on healthcare from founding the NIHR in 2006 to establishing antimicrobial resistance as a global priority. Dame Sally, working in partnership with Dr Russell Hamilton, created the NIHR under the Best Research for Best Health strategy as ‘a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research, focused on the needs of patients and the public.’

She not only created the infrastructure that enables research to thrive, but also worked to change the culture around research. It is thanks to her that NIHR will only fund researchers at institutions that have been awarded a silver Athena Swan rating, which recognises the advancement of gender equality.

Professor Chris Whitty, who assumed responsibility for NIHR in 2016 and today succeeds her as Chief Medical Officer said: “It is a great honour to follow in Sally’s footsteps. She has transformed how we do research in and for the NHS and helped to shape the health research landscape more broadly. All of us at the NIHR would like to thank her for her inspirational hard work down through the years and wish her all the best in her new role.”

Professor Whitty will continue to lead the NIHR for the foreseeable future.